HAMPSTEAD – After almost three decades of being involved in education in New Hampshire, Hampstead Middle School Principal Patti Grassbaugh has decided to retire at the end of the school year. The Hampstead School Board accepted her resignation Tuesday evening, Feb. 11, with extreme regret.
Grassbaugh spent eight years at Hampstead Central School and the last seven at the middle school. She has spent a total of 26 years teaching in New Hampshire, after beginning her education career in Ohio at an inner city school.
“I taught every grade except seventh,” she said. “I have been a Title 1 teacher, a technology teacher, assistant principal and principal. I moved to Hampstead in 1988 for the wonderful school system. My boys had the opportunity to go to school here.”
Grassbaugh enrolled at Rivier College to receive a reading specialist certification because she was interested in learning more about how students learn to read. She completed her Master’s of Education degree from Lesley University and received her CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) in Educational Leadership from Lesley.
“All in all I have spent over 35 years in education,” she said. “I was lucky enough to do my internship with Robert P. Little, who I will always be indebted to for teaching me to remember that we teach children, not curriculum. He gave me the opportunity to get my foot in the door at Hampstead Central School.”
Grassbaugh expressed appreciation for having had the opportunity to work with what she described as “hard working and caring” teachers and staff at both Hempstead schools. She said she feels fortunate to have been able to work in the town in which she lives.
“The Hampstead students are very special too,” she said. “How many schools have an Anti-Bullying Club? It speaks to the kindness and caring of our students. And my job as principal was certainly made easier with the support of two great assistant principals, Lori Collins and Owen Harrington.
“I appreciate the time I have worked in Hampstead and I am very appreciative of the Town’s support of our family through the tough times after Jon’s death,” she added, referring to her son U.S. Army Ranger Capt. Jonathan Grassbaugh, who was killed in Iraq in 2007 by a roadside bomb. “I hope in the future to continue to support Hampstead in any way I can.”